This law allows the Government of Belize to borrow publicly by issuing, or selling, Treasury bills and notes to investors. The important stipulations are the amount, the time and how the loan is repaid. The Treasury Bills Act permits the Government of Belize to borrow as much as BZ$1,600,000,000 by issuing Government securities known as Treasury bills (BZ$400,000,000) and Treasury notes (BZ$1,200,000,000) in an open market, referred to as Treasury Bills Auction and Initial Public Offering. The Central Bank of Belize is the fiscal agent (intermediary) between the investing public and the Government of Belize in this market and presides over the auctioning of Treasury bills and initial public offering for Treasury notes.
Treasury bills are essentially government loans with a maturity period of less than one year, but usually issued for three months and in multiples of $200, while Treasury notes maturity period is for more than one year and in multiples of $1,000. The proceeds from both loans are used to meet the operating cost of the Government of Belize. At maturity, the loan for Treasury bills is repaid by the Government of Belize and a new issue of Treasury bills with a similar face value to the maturing issue will normally replace the maturing Treasury bills, which is called rollover. This cycle is repeated at each maturity. A similar process is followed at the maturity of the loan for Treasury notes with the exception that depending on the economy, the Government of Belize may be forced to adjust the interest rate to make these notes more attractive to investors. The face value of current Treasury bills issued totals BZ$245,000,000 allotted in four issues while the face value for the current Treasury notes totals BZ$1,012,000,000 in 39 issues.
The securities market is primarily dominated by commercial banks and other financial institutions with surplus cash. Currently, commercial banks are holding a significant portion of total outstanding Treasury bills while Treasury notes remain in the hands of the public.